DEVON U14 CUP FINAL SANDY PARK SUNDAY 6TH MAY 11am
The Juniors Show the Seniors the Way
A date that any committed Cully supporter should not miss. This is your chance to see a team in action that could well be the face of Cullompton firsts 2020. Having had an unbeaten season to date, the U14s have all the hallmarks of Rob Hammett’s 1999 U16s who administered a 54-5 rugby lesson to Torquay in that year’s county final at Stafford Park or the Steve Hawkins coached colts who made the semi-finals of the national cup in 2004, elements of these sides now forming the backbone of today’s team.
Like any farmer their coach, Ian Wood, tends towards pessimism but becomes animated when asked about his team and their chances on Sunday. Understandably tight lipped about their tactics he did go on record as saying “Ivybridge may be an academy side but they will have to play the game of their lives to beat this lot.”
The front row, a problem area for many sides, actually boasts three replacements out of the seven permitted bench players. The arrival of burley George Swift last year brought weight and stature to the tighthead position and helped form a formidable front row with mobile loose head Cameron Pelly, both of whom have worked hard on their fitness, and hooker and sometimes prop Tom Berry. They are backed up by mobile Agan Stevens at sixteen, strong Tom Parker at eighteen, more than capable at tighthead, and at seventeen solid hooker Adrian Netherway who has a surprising turn of speed.
Captain and utility foward, Ben Charlton who reads the game well, is in the second row wearing four with hard tackling Cane Eddy at five and backed up by big Tom Bendle on the bench wearing the twenty shirt. The back row comprises blindside flanker James Hughes-Woods who cleans up on the ground with Dan Marek at seven who goes in with no thought of self-preservation. Long standing club member Will Scott completes the picture at eight. With good hands and an imposing 6’ 3”tall, he rules the lineout and is very quick off the back of the scrum. They are backed up by number nineteen, the tireless Patrick Livingstone, known to his team mates as “Mr Duracell”, who can deputise at place kicking.
Behind the scrum at nine is quick thinking Jacob Wood, an out and out scrum half shadowed on the bench by number twenty one Ben Tipton, also a utility back. At ten and big enough for a backrower is Will Thompson, the playmaker who kicks well out of hand. His centres are a complementary pair. On the inside is contact junkie Joe Palmer who is the battering ram whilst outside him is Frank Rosewald, the rapier who threads his way between the opposition. Rosewald shares kicking duties with number eleven, speed merchant winger, Tom Cole, hero of the Tiverton cup game who is partnered on the opposite wing by newcomer Elliot Gibbons, another prolific try scorer. Another newcomer Ben Lines plays at fullback. He joins the attack at every opportunity, is good under the high ball and a courageous tackler. Last but not least in the twenty two shirt is Ed Gardener who plays centre or back row.
I hope that any club member who reads this will make the effort to come along and show your support.